Tropicana Atlantic City Casino is finally all in, trying to make up for lost time, with a state-of-the-art permanent sportsbook.
Tropicana Sportsbook is the second in Atlantic City being run by the US division of sports betting giant William Hill. Better late than never.
Out of the eight currently operating Atlantic City casino sportsbooks, the William Hill Tropicana Sportsbook was the next to last to open. It made its debut Oct. 25, 2018, seven weeks into the regular NFL season.
Here at NJ Gambling Websites, we want to let you know what we think of the location.
Temporary sportsbook, fortunately, was temporary
Like its competitors, Tropicana Sportsbook originally existed merely as a temporary makeshift facility. The intent was simply to provide another convenient place to bet sports legally in New Jersey sooner rather than later.
The temporary sportsbook was not equipped to handle oversize crowds and offer extra amenities like a full-service bar on the premises, plush seating, many large screen TVs and tableside food and beverage service. Patrons would have to wait until a hopefully much improved, enhanced and more spacious state-of-the-art permanent sportsbook would be ready.
The temporary Tropicana Sportsbook was situated in the same location, adjacent to Chickie & Pete’s Crab House & Sports Bar on the North Tower casino floor, as the permanent facility that would finally replace it.
Out with the old, in with the new
Those of you who are new to sports betting or haven’t visited Tropicana Atlantic City in a while might not know that its temporary sportsbook is history. Sports fans had been waiting a long time for the permanent facility to open and it finally did.
On March 8, just in time for the start of March Madness, the greatly enhanced permanent Tropicana Sportsbook opened to the public for business.
Steve Callender, Eldorado Resorts’ senior vice president of operations – Eastern region, said in a press release on March 7, the day before the new Tropicana Sportsbook’s scheduled opening.
“We are thrilled to bring our guests more exciting experiences with the addition of our brand new sportsbook. “This venue will bring a new level of fun and entertainment to Tropicana and truly sets us apart from the other sportsbooks in the city.”
A month later, a Tropicana Sportsbook manager said that throughout the entire NCAA Tournament, the place was a madhouse. When the competition was down to the Final Four — culminating in the Virginia vs. Texas Tech showdown on April 8 and Virginia winning — Tropicana Sportsbook was packed.
While visiting the sportsbook Wednesday afternoon, April 10, as expected, the business was slow. But the sportsbook was gearing up for and expecting big crowds again for the next big events, the Masters’ tournament and the start of the NBA playoffs.
This review will tell you everything you need to know about the permanent Tropicana Sportsbook.
Tropicana Sportsbook free and first-bet offers
In addition to the sportsbook at Tropicana Atlantic City, William Hill offers a free Tropicana Sportsbook mobile app. If you have a current Apple iOS or Android device and would like to take advantage of this option, you can download the appropriate app for your device here.
Bet $50, get $50
If you are signing up for a William Hill/Tropicana mobile sports account for the first time, be sure to use the promo code TROP50.
Deposit and bet a minimum of $50. Within 14 days, William Hill will credit your account with an extra $50, which you can then use to make additional sports bets.
However, this offer is limited to first-time bettors on the sports betting mobile app only. Neither the “Bet $50, Get $50” offer nor any other promotional offer is available for bettors at Tropicana Atlantic City Sportsbook.
Tropicana’s partnership with William Hill
William Hill history
The name William Hill is practically synonymous with legalized sports betting. The company now provides its name, expertise and many years of experience in the sports betting industry to a growing number of sportsbooks both in the US and overseas.
The company originated in London, founded by William Hill in 1934 when sports betting in the UK was still illegal. However, over the years, because of the firm’s unwavering reputation for honesty and trustworthiness, the business was able to expand. Eventually, with the legalization of sports betting in the UK and elsewhere, the company was able to make a seamless transition into the legal sports betting realm.
William Hill’s presence in the US
Today, William Hill is the largest legalized sports betting brand in the world. In addition to operating 155 of the 183 sportsbooks in Nevada, the US division of William Hill has made its presence felt in other legalized sports betting markets in the US, including both New Jersey and Delaware.
Before the opening of the sportsbook at Tropicana Atlantic City, William Hill had already been running a sportsbook at Monmouth Park and at another NJ online casino, Ocean Casino Resort, since June 2018. All three locations now have a permanent, state-of-the-art William Hill sportsbook in place.
At one time, Nevada was the only state in this country that offered full-scale, legalized sports betting, but with the repeal of PASPA in 2018, the scenario has quickly changed. As more and more states jump on the bandwagon, casinos and racetracks will be looking to William Hill as a model of what a full-service sportsbook is supposed to be, just like Tropicana Atlantic City.
In a March 7 press release announcing the Tropicana Sportsbook’s opening, Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, made the following statement:
“We are proud to partner with Tropicana Atlantic City and Eldorado Resorts to open this world-class sportsbook. The new sportsbook at the Trop is proof of our collective commitment to provide our customers with the best possible experience. Powered by our industry-leading sports betting product, it will bring added excitement to sports fans that want to watch and wager at the Tropicana.”
Asher’s words are on point. Anyone visiting Tropicana Sportsbook is almost certain to be impressed.
My experience at Tropicana Sportsbook
I did not visit Tropicana Sportsbook during the five months as a temporary sportsbook. However, I imagine the setup and offerings were similar to what patrons of the William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Casino Resort found while it was still a temporary facility.
I was puzzled by Tropicana’s failure to get the sportsbook up and running in time for football season. At the same time, I found some of the temporary sportsbooks that were open then far superior to others.
There were a few instances when I was so taken aback by the complete lack of basic amenities, like chairs to watch the games, that I wondered why the sportsbook was open at all.
Therefore, in fairness to Tropicana and William Hill, and to prevent my opinion of the temporary facility from clouding my judgment, I postponed my visit until Wednesday, April 10, a month after the permanent sportsbook opened.
My overall impression was highly favorable. However, as with all of the other so-called “permanent” sportsbooks in Atlantic City, there is still room for improvement.
What’s great about Tropicana Sportsbook
Appearance and layout
For starters, a sportsbook’s outward appearance and the care and thought that went into it says a lot about the probable quality of your experience should you decide to stay at the facility to place your bets and watch the games. In this category, Tropicana Sportsbook clearly rates an A.
No matter where you are on the large casino floor, the sportsbook is easy to find, as signs are pointing to it from multiple locations. It is conveniently located as well, adjacent to both Chickie’s & Pete’s and a lounge called Ten North.
But if you prefer to eat at any of the many other casual or fine-dining establishments, or snack bars at Tropicana it is no problem. They are only a short walk away.
At Tropicana Sportsbook, the lack of seating won’t be a problem either. The 5,000-square-foot facility is one of the largest sportsbooks in Atlantic City, capable of seating 180 patrons in the general seating area. There is also a smaller, roped off area for VIP guests’ reserved seating.
If you wish to make same-day reservations, call 1-609-340-4022 to see if you qualify and if space is still available. Or for advance reservations and groups, call Erin Sterr at 1-609-342-7785 or email her at [email protected]
Massive video display wall and odds board
A 1,654-square-foot video display allows guests to watch up to 16 games in progress simultaneously. The high-definition TVs vary in size from very small to gigantic. Real-time odds are posted, giving players the option to make in-play bets either as an alternative to or in addition to bets placed before the start of a game.
In addition, a continuously updated 250-square-foot odds board shows sports bettors, at a glance, the many available options for both same-day and future bets, and the latest odds. Printed betting sheets are also available, but studying the board is a must since the odds are frequently subject to change.
Tropicana Sportsbook is open every day of the year. Currently, the posted hours vary for different days of the week, as follows:
- Mondays–Thursdays: 10 a.m. to midnight
- Fridays: 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Sundays: 9 a.m. to midnight
If an important game is still in progress at the typical closing time, the sportsbook will stay open until after the conclusion of the game so bettors with winning tickets can cash them.
The extended hours of operation give players plenty of time to place their bets. Even patrons with unusual work schedules shouldn’t have any trouble finding a time to visit the sportsbook. Alternatively, bettors can wager on the mobile app 24/7.
Ease of cashing tickets
I inquired as to whether those with winning tickets purchased at Tropicana Sportsbook could also cash them at William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Casino Resort, or vice versa, and was told they could not. You can only cash in your winning tickets at the same facility where you purchased them. However, you have up to a year to do so. For your added convenience, you can also cash your winning sports bet tickets 24/7 at the Tropicana Casino cashier.
The tremendous variety of sports bets
Whether the plays you want to make are simple and straightforward, like a point spread or moneyline bet, on a single game or a more complicated wager like a parlay or teaser or in-play bet, this is the place. As long as a line is available, Tropicana Atlantic City William Hill Sportsbook will probably take the bet.
Side bets and prop bets open up even more possibilities.
For example, throughout the long baseball season, like any other good full-service sportsbook, Tropicana Sportsbook takes both moneyline and run-line bets. But that’s far from all; you can make either type of bet for the first five innings only. You can also make alternate and reverse run line bets, and bet on whether or not a team will score in the first inning,
Of course, the betting action is on more than just football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. You can bet on other sports like tennis, golf, and the NASCAR races, too. Another popular type of bet is on future events like which team will win the NBA Championship or World Series.
Since William Hill runs both the Tropicana and Ocean Resort sportsbooks, the posted lines and betting options for the two sportsbooks are the same.
For more information on the many different types of bets, you can place at these sportsbooks, see the section “Sports you can bet on at Tropicana Sportsbook.”
A helpful how to bet guide
Anyone new to sports betting might be easily intimidated by such an extensive array of betting options. However, there’s a handy “How To Bet Guide” for NJ online sports betting that you can pick up at the sportsbook, which explains much of the sports betting terminology. It also includes descriptions of different types of bets with specific examples.
Inexperienced sports bettors will find the wealth of information indispensable. Knowledge staff persons are also on hand to help you, if necessary. But if you have specific questions, your best bet is to visit the sportsbook at a time when it isn’t busy.
What could be better at Tropicana Sportsbook
All of the features mentioned above are great, but I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention a few areas where Tropicana Sportsbook could be better.
Not the most comfortable sportsbook seating in town
I can’t speak for everyone, but when I visit a sportsbook to settle in for a long afternoon or evening of wagering and game watching, I want to be comfortable.
For me, that means being able to sink into a plush armchair or sofa. I also need a large enough table or tabletop beside me to hold not only hold my food and beverage but also my handicapping and betting materials and any other work I have brought along. Unfortunately, very few of the 180+ nonreserved seats at this sportsbook measure up.
The Tropicana website states that the sportsbook has seats for 180 patrons,; actually there are more, and this number doesn’t include the reserved seats.
The breakdown in the nonreserved seating area is as follows:
- Two rows of 12 barstools
- Two rows of 11 high tables, each seating six
- Five high tables seating four
- Twelve fabric armchairs with a beverage holder on the side
Since seating is strictly first come, first serve, I would imagine that the armchairs are among the first seats taken. The most comfortable seating by far — the cushioned sofas — is within the roped off VIP section. All of those seats must be reserved in advance and are only open to select qualifying players.
No food service
Beverage service is available at the bar and tableside, but ordering food from the sportsbook and having it delivered to your seat is not an option.
Of course, there are many restaurants and snack bars throughout the property, and if you wish, you can order your food to go and bring it to the sportsbook. However, except for Chickie’s & Pete’s next door, the walk to and from the eatery and the wait for the food could take more time away from a game you have bet on than you want. During this time, you could miss important action. You might also miss an opportunity to make an in-play bet or bet on another game about to start.
Having the option to order not just drinks on the premises, but food, too, would be a great improvement. However, when I asked the manager if there were any plans in the works to serve food at the sportsbook, he told me there are not.
No bets on horses
One would think that a sportsbook offering as great a variety of betting options as Tropicana Sportsbook would add horses to the mix.
In fact, a long time ago, Tropicana Atlantic City actually had a horse room and took bets on racetracks all over the country. However, after that room closed, it never reopened.
I asked the manager whether there is a possibility that Tropicana Sportsbook could start taking bets on horses anytime soon. However, it doesn’t look like that will happen.
In other words, for the foreseeable future, unless you are willing to travel to Monmouth Park or the Meadowlands, where you can bet legally on both horses and sports, the only other place in New Jersey to bet legally on horse races is the Borgata Race & Sports Book.
Inadequate comp program
Tropicana sports bettors can use the comps they have earned in the casino for beverages in the sportsbook. However, they are not otherwise entitled to free drinks.
In addition, sports bettors are welcome to join the William Hill Sports Rewards Club, with membership being mandatory for anyone wagering $1,000 or more on a single day. However, sports betting rewards are not linked in any way to the Tropicana Casino comp program.
Because the two rewards programs are not linked, combined with the fact that sports bets are rewarded at a very low rate, the William Hill Sports Rewards Club is virtually useless for all but the biggest sports bettors.
How the sports rewards program works
The program works as follows:
- Straight bet: 1 point for for each $1 wagered
- Parlay/Teaser: 2 points for each $1 wagered
- Parlay card: 5 points for each $1 wagered
As long as you earn at least 1 point in 12 months, you won’t lose your points. However, you will need a lot of them to cash them in. You will receive $1 in free bets for every 1,000 sports points.
For people betting thousands of dollars at a time, a free bet of a dollar or a couple of dollars is meaningless. For many other people, it may take months to accumulate the 1,000 sports points, and for them, too, being finally rewarded with a $1 free bet does not seem worth the time and trouble.
The William Hill comp program for sports bettors is woefully inadequate and should be combined with the casino comp program. Sports bettors who wager $50 or more on any given day should be entitled to a free drink as they are at Caesars’ owned sportsbooks.
Sports you can bet on at Tropicana Sportsbook NJ
William Hill Sportsbook at Tropicana Atlantic City offers the same betting options as the William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Casino Resort, in other words, virtually every sport for which Vegas posts a betting line. That includes, but may not be limited to all of the following:
- College and pro football
- Canadian football
- Winner of the game
- Run line
- First inning and first five innings
- College and pro basketball
- Australian Rules football
- Women’s pro basketball
- Motorsports, including NASCAR and other special events
- Golf, including the Masters and other significant tournaments
- Cricket World Cup
- Rugby World Cup
Types of wagers you can make at Tropicana Sportsbook
Here, if you’re not careful, you could run into problems, not from lack of choice, but the opposite. Tropicana offers so many different types of wagers, not just the biggest games like the Super Bowl, but every day. Therefore, choosing wisely, so you don’t exceed your budget, can be a challenge.
All of the following options are open to you:
- Point spread wagers
- Moneyline wagers
- Over/Under wagers
- Live (in-play) betting on games in progress
In addition, here are some (by no means all) of the specific options for different sports:
- Winner of the game, run line, alternate and reverse run lines, first inning and first five innings bets
- Futures: Winner of the National and American League pennants and the World Series
- NFL and college football futures
- Early odds (both lines and totals) for next week’s games
- Number of regular season wins for each team
- Odds of each team to win its division, AFC or NFC championship, and the Super Bowl
- Odds to win the Heisman Trophy
- NBA first quarter bets
- NBA futures: East and West Conference winners and NBA champion
- NHL Futures: East and West Conference winners and Stanley Cup winner
- Two way and three-way bets
Tropicana Sportsbook currently offers eight betting windows. The minimum bet is $2, except at the one high-limit window where the minimum bet is $500.
Tropicana Sportsbook customer service
Anytime during operating hours, a manager or other knowledgeable person will be on hand to assist you. However, as already mentioned, if you need personal service, you should try to come at a time other than a busy betting period. Otherwise, the sportsbook’s priority is to accommodate the many bettors waiting on line and the staff might not have time to answer your questions fully.
Another option is to call the Tropicana Atlantic City main number 1-609-340-4000 and ask for the sportsbook. Again, you should do during nonbusy hours.
Tropicana Sportsbook amenities (pros and cons)
Although we covered the pros and cons of Tropicana Sportsbook above, here is a summary.
- Ample seating for a large number of patrons.
- Multiple large screen HD TVs allowing you to watch up to 16 games simultaneously.
- Full-service bar on the premises.
- Cushioned sofas in the reserved-seating area for qualifying players.
- Gigantic, continuously updated odds board.
- The entire sportsbook is nonsmoking.
What could be better
- Not enough comfortable seats for non-high rollers.
- No food service.
- Poor sports rewards program.
Tropicana Sportsbook planned updates
At the time of my visit on April 10, Tropicana Sportsbook did not include any self-service betting kiosks. However, they are in the planning stage and will definitely be installed in time for football season, if not earlier.
Betting kiosks would be an essential addition to ensure that bettors who arrive at busy times shortly before a game wouldn’t be shut out. Kiosks that are open 24/7 would also allow patrons to place bets anytime day or night, at their convenience, not necessarily when the sportsbook betting windows are open.
Of course, here at NJ Gambling Websites, we will also keep you informed of other important additions and improvements at Tropicana Sportsbook as they happen.